Japan’s soccer team staged a stunning comeback on Wednesday, beating Germany 2-1 in their World Cup opening match.
The team and their fans have gone viral on social media platforms for their extremely courteous behavior at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha. “Japanese fans cleaned up their trash in the stadium,” FIFA tweeted on Wednesday, noting that the Japanese team had also left their dressing room “spotless”.
Several origami birds were left by the team as gifts, as well as a note that read ‘shukran’ or ‘thank you’ in Arabic. The birds appear to represent the crane, featured on the Japanese team’s badge.
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Japan’s football fans are known for cleaning up their rubbish and have received much acclaim after helping stadium workers clean up and dispose of their rubbish during previous World Cups.
The Japanese team, nicknamed “Samurai Blue”, will face Costa Rica in their next World Cup match on Sunday. A win would guarantee Japan’s qualification to the knockout stage of the tournament. Costa Rica lost their opening game 7-0 to Spain.
The Qatar World Cup was embroiled in controversy before even a ball was kicked amid backlash over the plight of migrant workers and LGBTQ+ rights in the tiny Persian Gulf state.
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has English-language broadcasting rights in the US for the World Cup in Qatar